Government Surveillance

Is government spying on Americans excessive?


How tightly the government should keep tabs on citizens has long been fiercely debated. But concern about surveillance intensified in June after National Security Agency computer specialist Edward Snowden revealed classified details of agency electronic snooping programs. Civil liberties advocates, lawmakers and others also have cited growing unease with other surveillance measures, including the use of unmanned “drone” aircraft and tiny video cameras. Congress, along with state and local governments, is expected to take up a variety of bills this fall to protect privacy and increase transparency about government activities. But the Obama administration maintains that internal safeguards — including a federal civil liberties oversight board created in 2004 — have prevented the federal government from becoming “Big Brother.”

Demonstrators protest against the sweeping U.S. electronic surveillance operations

Demonstrators in Berlin, Germany, protest on July ...

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